Friedrich Kalkbrenner Preludio Nr. 1 in C major Op. 88

Jeroen Malaise, Pleyel Concert Grand 1841

with the support of Piano’s Maene and the Chris Maene Collection

Muzio Clementi - from Preludes and Exercises, Op.43

Jeroen Malaise, pianoforte Longman Clementi 1798

with the support of Piano’s Maene and the Chris Maene Collection





This website offers various learning platforms to practice the art of improvisational preluding at the piano, a discipline that has more or less disappeared from practice during the last hundred years. 

The contents of these learning platforms are the results of years of research in the artistic and pedagogical field, currently in an academic research project at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp (Belgium). This website combines existing historical didactic instructions into a modern method that makes preluding accessible and up-to-date again for pianists, and promotes the development of a contemporary approach.


It is not obvious to offer a linear step-by-step plan for training in this discipline, which is why various learning platforms are offered. Each platform provides access to the domain of preluding in a different way. Young pianists or starters should first connect with basics and imaginations. Advanced pianists could enter harmonizations and explorations as an ideal starting point. Learning to improvise preludes means developing harmonic knowledge, keyboard skills and a vivid imagination.


There are numerous ways in which a prelude or introduction at the keyboard can be described: an introductory gesture, a ritual announcement, a means of attracting the listener's attention, a chance to warm up the fingers or try out the instrument and its temperament, a test of the acoustics in the hall, or simply an ‘improvisation'. Although the tradition of improvisational preluding or l'Art de Preluder extended into the early 20th century, it reached its peak between 1770 and 1840, with master pianists such as Mozart, Clementi, Dussek, Beethoven, Kalkbrenner, Hummel, Czerny, Moscheles, Chopin and Liszt. It is a demanding discipline: creativity, spontaneity and technical ingenuity interact with circumstances that present themselves at the moment. A prelude is created in a fleeting moment that requires sublime skills and a ‘developed’ musical taste.


About the academic research (Dutch)

Artikel Forum+

Tussen twee revoluties. De artistieke speeltuin in klaviermethodes uit de vroege negentiende eeuw



Jeroen Malaise is a pianist-composer, teacher and researcher

at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp (Belgium)

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